Power of Metal.dk Review

Style: Symphonic / Progressive Metal
Release date: 26 May, 2015
Playing time: 1:02:48

Exxiles is a 2012 Symphonic/Progressive Metal band founded by the ex-drummer from Reign of Architect, Mauricio Bustamante. Very much like his previous band, Exxiles makes use of a diverse group of musicians including Mike Lepond of Symphony X, Chris Caffery of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Savatage, Marcela Bovio of Stream of Passion, and quite a few others.


On May 26th 2015, Exxiles will be releasing "Oblivion", the first part of a trilogy. I was lucky enough to be given an early listen to this album, and let me say - it's a power house. This album utilizes a large array of stylistic components spanning from good old kick-you-in-the-head heavy metal, to a passionate waltz. These guys really dug through their musical strengths and used them in a way that really works with the core elements of this album.

We hear a war drum pounding in a very distinctive rhythm. As it grows in volume, a small male choir singing in a style that resembles a Gregorian chant begins. A moment later, strings begin to accompany them and we can feel a clear build in tension as we're hit with a powerful riff on the guitar. With two opposing forces forcefully singing at one another, a tale of civil unrest unfolds. This is "A Better Legacy", the prelude that will set the mood of the entire album.


As the album progresses, it comes to a halt as we enter a bit of an interlude in "Page of the Night". A much softer piece in contrast to the blatantly heavy ones preceding it. With a little more than a piano, harp, and strings, this song brings us through the mind of one of our narrator as he ponders the evening, the night's sky, and a woman. This is sort of a musical turning point of the album. From here on, we are able to hear the softer parts of this album where all of the tension builds and releases. This is where we can really hear the beautiful soaring melodies being created while still retaining the heaviness that is necessary to carry the core tone of this album.  We are fortunate enough to hear the beautiful and unmistakable voice of Marcela Bovio singing a Mexican sort of waltz in "Llorona" as we approach the end of this album.


For the last three songs, the symphonic portion of this album really comes to life as we hear colors from various forms of string, brass, and percussion. The tensions are high at this point, and the barrier between sound and silence is very effectively broken. There's an almost stern atmosphere being created, and I believe this is accomplished by interjecting songs of very different stylistic backgrounds about the album.


At last, we find ourselves at the end of this album, on the last song "Rise". This song possesses a wide spectrum of dynamic high and low points, with a whole lot of story to tell. This is a really powerful piece of music, and acts as a wonderful end to the album, as well as a bridge to carry on the next album in the trilogy.


Overall, this is a really good album, and I highly recommend giving it a listen. It's definitely worth the time. Oh, and did I mention the Gypsy Jazz?


01. A Better Legacy
02. Hopelessness
03. Anthem of Lies
04. Page of the Night
05. Introspective
06. Dictator of Trust
07. Llorona
08. Entropy
09. Awakening Part I (Dark Renaissance)
10. The Messenger
11. Rise
Label: Nightmare Records
Distribution: Nightmare Records
Artwork rating: 80/100
Reviewed by: James Aaron
Date: 02 April, 2015
Website: www.facebook.com/Exxiless